Exelon (rivastigmine): drug treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

Overview

Rivastigmine (marketed as Exelon) is one of a group of three drugs for people with Alzheimer's disease called cholinesterase inhibitors. The other two are called donepezil hydrochloride (common brand name Aricept) and galantamine hydrobromide (common brand name Reminyl).

For the purposes of this information sheet, rivastigmine will be referred to as Exelon, since it is the brand most people will be familiar with, although other brands may become available.

Exelon is the name given to the particular brand of rivastigmine produced by a company called Novartis. It is licensed for the treatment of mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's disease and for the treatment of dementia related to Parkinson's disease. Exelon is not claimed to be a cure for Alzheimer's disease. It treats the symptoms only and there is no evidence that it could halt or reverse the process of brain cell damage that causes Alzheimer's disease.

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